Bulimia Nervosa Nipissing University

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					Bulimia Nervosa

   By: Blair McCulloch
   Bulimia Nervosa affects mainly women and it is defined
    as an eating disorder which includes binge eating
    followed by purging. People with this disorder will
    often eat large portions of food and then get rid of it by
    vomiting, using laxatives, or occasionally over-
    exercising. Bulimia is a long-term disorder and can
    become a serious mental disorder. People become
    completely preoccupied with their weight and body
    size. They are very anxious and are worried about their
    appearance. Bulimia is also associated with anorexia and
    depression and other psychiatric disorders and if gone
    untreated can lead to fatal complications.
There are several signs and symptoms of Bulimia
                   they include:
   - Going to the bathroom during meals
   - Exercising for hours
   - Depression
   - Binge eating of mainly high carbohydrate foods
   - Eating until painfully full
   - Loss of control over eating, with feelings of shame and guilt
   - Damaged tooth enamel
   - Bad breath
   - Sore throat or mouth sores
   - Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, gas, abdominal pain
   - Dehydration
   - Irregular menstruation or lack of menstrual periods
    What causes Bulimia Nervosa?
   There is no certain factor that causes bulimia however
    there are many theories, which include:
    - genetics
    - psychological factors (low self-esteem and
    disturbances in neural systems that mediate voluntary
    self-regulatory processes are examples)
    - history of sexual abuse
    - stressful events
    - life changes
    - depression
    - obsessive-compulsive disorder and
    - cultural pressures
        Who is most at risk?
- Middle class women (in their teenage years and
college students)

- People with a family history of mood disorders
and substance abuse

- People with low self-esteem
   The best treatment is a combination of psychotherapy, family
    therapy, and medication. It is important for the person with
    bulimia to be actively involved in their treatment. Often people
    are ashamed of being bulimic and therefore they do not seek
    help for years. If this disorder goes on untreated for too long it
    can be extremely difficult for the people suffering to change their
    habits. If you have symptoms of bulimia, you should see a
    doctor as soon as possible. The doctor should check for physical
    signs such as eroded tooth enamel and enlargement of the
    salivary glands, as well as signs of depression. Laboratory tests
    can reveal chemical changes caused by bingeing and purging.
    Your doctor or a mental health practitioner will do a
    psychological exam and ask about your feelings and your eating
Question 1
Bulimia Nervosa is ___________.
a) a skin condition
b) an eating disorder
c) a part of the male reproductive system
d) a part of the female reproductive system
   Question 2
   The definitive cause of bulimia is an imbalance
    with the neural system.
    a) true
    b) false
   Question 3
    Bulimia Nervosa is considered to be a
    a) long-term disorder
    b) short-term disorder
    c) disorder affecting the lungs
    d) disorder affecting the eyesight
   Question 4
    Who is most at risk of becoming bulimic?
    a) Older men (40 and above)
    b) Younger men (39 and below)
    c) Older women (40 and above)
    d) Younger women (39 and below)
   Question 5
    The best treatment for Bulimia Nervosa is
   a) psychotherapy
   b) family therapy
   c) medication
   d) all of the above
   Answers

    1. b
    2. b (the exact cause is not known)
    3. a
    4. d
    5. d
                   More Information
   For more information on bulimia, please call at 1-800-994-
    9662 or contact the following organizations:
   National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), NIH, HHS
    Internet Address:
   National Mental Health Information Center, SAMHSA, HHS
    Phone: (800) 789-2647
    Internet Address:
   Academy for Eating Disorders
    Phone: (847) 498-4274
    Internet Address:
   National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
    Phone: (847) 831-3438
    Internet Address:
   National Eating Disorders Association
    Phone: (800) 931-2237
    Internet Address:
   - Bulimia Nervosa – University of Maryland Medical Center date accessed:
    November 22, 2009
   - Bulimia Nervosa – HealthLinkBC date: November 28, 2007 date accessed: Nov
    22, 2009
   - Bulimia Nervosa – date: June 15, 2009 date accessed: Nov 22,
   - Bulimia Nervosa – NIMH National Institute of Mental Health date: January 21,
    2009 date accessed: Nov 22, 2009
   - Deficient Activity in the Neural Systems That Mediate Self-regulatory Control in
    Bulimia Nervosa Date: October 9, 2009
   Rachel Marsh, PhD, Joanna E. Steinglass, MD, Andrew J. Gerber, MD, Kara Graziano
    O’Leary, MA, Zhishun Wang, PhD, David Murphy, MSci, B. Timothy Walsh, MD,
    and Bradley S. Peterson, MD

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